The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the Chief of Flight Safety at Air India for one month. The decision was taken after a DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work done by the airlines.
DGCA evaluated aspects such as internal audits, accident prevention efforts, and the availability of technical staff, in compliance with flight safety guidelines and civil aviation requirements, in a surveillance audit on July 25 and 26.
“The DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work carried out by the organization and the availability of the requisite technical man power as required in the approved Flight Safety Manual and the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements," DGCA said in a statement.
The regulator claimed to have noticed that some of the internal audits and spot checks that Air India claimed to have conducted were performed superficially and outside the bounds of law. The airline was therefore requested to produce a report of the steps taken.
The DGCA sent show-cause notifications to the affected post holders after receiving this report.
“Based on the review of the replies received, the airline has been directed not to assign any audits/surveillance/spot checks pertaining to compliance of DGCA requirements to the particular auditor involved in the perfunctory inspections which indicates lack of diligence. Further, the approval of Chief of Flight Safety of Air India has been suspended for a period of one month for the lapses established,” the DGCA said.
During the audit, it was revealed that the airline was expected to perform internal safety checks in 13 areas, including cargo, ramp, and cabin surveillance. However, fabricated reports were allegedly submitted for all 13 cases.
In a separate incident in August, the DGCA suspended Air India’s approved training organization (ATO) license, impacting the operations of its Boeing simulator in Mumbai and Airbus simulator in Hyderabad. This action resulted from identified lapses during a spot check conducted by the regulator.